Lesson 2

The Electoral System

And How to Fix It

It's important to be clear how General Elections work. Watch the video guide

  1. How does FPTP work?

  2. How are governments chosen?

  3. How many voters are there in each constituency?

  4. When can elections happen?

  5. What does it mean that FPTP 'enables the government to carryout its programme?

  6. What does it mean to say that FPTP is 'unfair'?

Ways of improving democracy: Recall & Petitions

What are the arguments for and against the use of Recall Elections?

How have recall elections been used in the UK?

Why is it argued that democracy in the UK needs to be improved?

Follow theses links to prepare for a class debate

BBC Radio 4 Let's raise the voting Age back to 21

Professor David Runciman Give votes to children.

Here are some of the most common augments against

How would you respond to each one from the view of someone who supports lowering the age of voting?

  • 16/17 year olds are too young to make mature rational decisions.

  • Many issues are too complex for young people to understand.

  • Very few pay tax, and most are still in education so don’t have a stake in society

  • The young are too radical as they have too little life experience

  • Turnout is usually very low among the young : 58% in 2017 for 18-24, and 47% in 2019

  • Recent legislation has raised the age at which people can buy cigarettes, fire works or use sun beds.

Should First Past the Post be replaced for UK general elections?

Use the links below to research the strengths and weaknesses of the main voting systems.

Function of elections.mp3

Introduction to the function of elections.

Listen and make notes

Now follow this link: The function of elections -

Voting systems with music.mp3

In this podcast from the Politics Shed, I give an overview of all the current voting systems used in the UK as well as some that have been used or might have been used. I describe the strengths and weaknesses of each.